Kristen Carroll Wiig was born August 22, 1973 in Canandaigua, New York. She attended the University of Arizona, majoring in Art. When she took an acting class at the University of Arizona to fulfill a course requirement in art, the teacher suggested she continue to act. She dropped out of school and relocated to Los Angeles, where she joined the improv comedy group, The Groundlings while working odd jobs to support herself.
Wiig's career has mostly been in comedy, including performing at the Empty Stage Comedy Theatre. In 2003, she appeared in the Spike TV show The Joe Schmo Show, a spoof of reality television, in which she played "Dr. Pat," the quack marriage counselor. She joined the cast of Saturday Night Live in 2005 where she remained until 2012.
Her characters on SNL include Penelope, a neurotic attention-seeker; Kat, half of the musical duo Garth and Kat (frequently appearing on Weekend Update alongside Fred Armisen); Dooneese Maharelle on the Lawrence Welk show;
Mindy Grayson in the Secret Word sketches, Gilly, a highly mischievous schoolgirl; Sue, who can't control her excitement over surprises; The Target Lady, a clerk at the chain store and kitsch collector; Shanna, a sexy woman whose actions and stories gross people out; Cheryl Bryant, a TV game show host who gives away big prizes and is always more excited about the prize than the winners are; Judy Grimes, a nervous travel agent; Jacqueline Seka, predatory host of the Cougar Den; and Aunt Linda, a hard-to-please movie critic, both frequently appearing on Weekend Update.
She has also played real-life people such as Björk, Suze Orman, Lana Del Rey, Kathie Lee Gifford, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, Drew Barrymore, Taylor Swift, Liza Minnelli, Christine O'Donnell, former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, and socialite Kris Jenner.
Kristen has appeared in several television series and films, including Bridesmaids, MacGruber, Flight of the Conchords, Adventureland, Paul, and Arrested Development. Her voice acting credits include "Ruffnut" in How to Train Your Dragon, "Lucy Wilde" in Despicable Me 2 and "Lola Bunny" in the series The Looney Tunes Show.
In 2011, Wiig co-wrote and starred in the 2011 comedy film, Bridesmaids, which earned her a Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Actress – Musical/Comedy, as well as nominations for the Academy Award and BAFTA for Best Original Screenplay.
She has also garnered four consecutive nominations (2009 - 2012) for an Emmy Award as an Outstanding Supporting Actress for her roles on Saturday Night Live.